Monday, November 06, 2006

Media update

BBC - Sunk Falklands ship safety 'poor'
"An inquiry into the sinking of HMS Sheffield at the height of the Falklands War has said crew were poorly trained and equipment was inadequate. The ship sank on 4 May 1982 with the loss of 20 men after being hit by an Argentine missile fired from a plane. Details of the inquiry into the sinking have emerged in previously classified documents released under the Freedom of Information Act."

BBC news - Council accused over bypass delay
"Campaigners for the Boston Bypass scheme have accused the county council of a "catalogue of errors and delays" in the town's transport plan. The Boston Bypass Pressure Group said paperwork obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showed slow progress on the Boston Transport Study."

The Guardian - No 10 coy over £200 gift from Blair to Bush
"Such is the sensitivity in Downing Street to the inconsistency, however, a request from the Times under the Freedom of Information Act for details of gifts sent across the Atlantic was turned down. But descriptions of Mr Bush's presents from No 10 have already been made public by the White House."

Daily Telegraph
- NHS carbon trading sees millions go up in smoke
"Hospitals have lost nearly £6 million since a controversial Government scheme to cut carbon emissions was introduced. The chaos caused to essential public services by Labour's participation in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme is revealed in a series of emails and documents released under the Freedom of Information Act."

Daily Telegraph - More homes face flooding risk as budget is slashed by £24m
"The Government has slashed the budget for protecting five million people and property worth £200 billion in Britain from the growing risk of flooding caused by climate change. Information obtained by the Conservatives under the Freedom of Information Act undermines the Government's commitment to the environment despite pledges from Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to set an example to the rest of the world."

IC Croydon - Cancelled operations at Mayday hit a five-year high
"A TOTAL of 13,634 operations were cancelled at Mayday Hospital over the last year - almost half of all scheduled surgery. The figures were released following a Freedom of Information request by the Advertiser and show that the number of postponed operations is at a five-year high."

Eastern Daily Press - Councils failing to measure power - MP
"Council spending on energy in Norfolk has shot up 46pc in the last three years to nearly £11m, but most authorities are failing to measure how much power they use, an MP claimed last night. Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act to North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb indicate that combined spending by all seven district councils and the county council went from £7.3m in 2003/04 to £10.6m in 2005/06."

Press Gazette - Sunday Telegraph team outline fears over FoI plans
"Fourteen Sunday Telegraph journalists have written to Lord Falconer to outline their concerns about proposed changes to the Freedom of Information Act."

International news

US - The Guardian - 1999 War Games Foresaw Problems in Iraq
"WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. government conducted a series of secret war games in 1999 that anticipated an invasion of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, and even then chaos might ensue. In its ``Desert Crossing'' games, 70 military, diplomatic and intelligence officials assumed the high troop levels would be needed to keep order, seal borders and take care of other security needs. The documents came to light Saturday through a Freedom of Information Act request by the George Washington University's National Security Archive, an independent research institute and library."

Ireland - - Labour to propose repeal of Freedom of Information fees
"Labour Party is to publish proposed legislation next week to repeal
fees introduced by the Government for requests made under the Freedom of
Information Act."

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